• Michael Healy

COVID-19 has changed the way we do business

Update: A 21-day lockdown has been just been announced in South Africa (7:30pm, Monday 23 March) starting Thursday at midnight, which includes all non-essential businesses being closed.

Last week South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a state of disaster in response to the coronavirus’s arrival in our country. This means severe international travel restrictions, closing roughly half the ports of entry into the country and the cancelling, or restriction, of social gatherings. Interesting times indeed. For businesses this means having to transition to a telecommuting approach to work.

A 2019 survey carried out on 1202 full-time US workers aged between 22 and 65 revealed that a better work-life balance was the most common reason (91%) for deciding to work remotely. The COVID-19 crisis has shown that the ability to work remotely is not just a luxury but rather vital. The pandemic is testing systems and processes at every level of community, government, healthcare and business, but it’s also shining a light on the strength of cloud solutions.

What is cloud?

Cloud is the on-demand availability of systems and data over the internet. Cloud applications such as Coupa and Ariba for procurement allow users to access their system, information and transactions from anywhere and at any time.

With everything in the cloud, having employees work remotely requires very little logistics and rework. Employees can simply access the application from the safety and comfort of their own home, or wherever they’ve chosen to work from, using their laptop and internet browser or mobile phone.

Supply Chain Partner implements cloud applications (Ariba, Coupa, Concur and Netsuite) for customers all the time. For those new to the cloud, the idea of not having their system and data on-premise can seem daunting and take some getting used to, but here are four reasons why cloud is the way forward for modern businesses:

1. Getting work done doesn’t require being at work

Employees can log in via secure single sign-on from anywhere they choose to work, at any time.

2. Data is stored centrally

Data is securely stored in the cloud application, so employees can access what they need, when they need it, from wherever they’re using a computer or the mobile phone application. For example, having our teams use Dropbox to collaborate during projects means that if an employee’s machine are stolen or lost, their data is safe and accessible when they plug in their new replacement machine.

3. Business continuity via real-time notifications

Cloud systems such as Coupa and Ariba send notifications when you or your manager need to get involved in a transaction or approval request. This means you don’t need to worry about business coming to a standstill when you’re not at the office. As you need to be involved, you will be notified and can move the transaction along by approving on your phone or via email.

4. System integration

Cloud applications can be integrated using tools like SAP CPI, Dell Boomi, Azure and Informatica to other vital systems such as your ERP to ensure that business can continue end to end. From contracting, to sourcing, to purchasing and invoicing and inventory, your entire business can benefit from cloud applications.

Supply Chain Partner sees the benefits in our business and with our teams of having fully adopted cloud solutions. The world of business may be changed forever after the COVID-19 outbreak. Maybe you’ve found your business woefully unprepared for the implications of such an impactful global event. The positive takeaway from an event like this is the opportunity to assess our processes, systems and ways of doing things and make meaningful changes that add value to our business and the employees and customers in our care.

What changes will your company be making to future-proof your business?


Contact us for a procurement evaluation that will define what value means for you,

and help you achieve it.

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